Minolta MC Rokkor PF 100mm 1:2.5 – MC II – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 100mm 1:2.5 vintage manual lens review (Minolta MC Tele Rokkor-PF 1:2.5 f=100mm)

  • Official classification: MC
  • Collector’s classification: MC II, Hills &Valleys, Knurled

Here is another one telephoto lens by Minolta. Very suitable for portraits because it is ‘100mm fast’ – the focal distance is not short, but the lens is still convenient in operation. Also, it is ready for landscapes from F5.6 and totally sharp over the frame if closed to F8 – this ability makes this lens enough universal. It may be interesting for photographers who are looking for a mix of good IQ and classic rendering.

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 100mm 1:2.5 + Minolta SRT-101

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 100mm 1:2.5 specifications:

minolta.eazypix.de index147
Name engraved on lensMC TELE ROKKOR-PF
f[mm]100
A max [1/f]2.5
A min[1/f]22
Lens design [el.]6
Lens design [gr.]5
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]55
Lens Shadescrew-in
closefocus[m/ft]1.2/4
Dimension Ø x length [mm]65×68
Weight[g]410
Year1970
StyleMC II
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No.646
Notes

More data

Floating elementsNO (full support by autofocused adapters)
Number of aperture blades6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesEnough high
Reviewed Lens SN:1508352

This optical design 6/5 has been changed in later MC age (so, rubberized MC can have two different schemes depends on production date), and one more time again in the New-MD era. So, without deep research, it can be said that IQ of this reviewed Rokkor is probably close to any 100/2.5 Steel&Glass Minolta ‘MC’ (but not ‘Auto’) and for some earlier rubberized MC, and probably far from any MD lenses.

Note: The first Minolta lens with 100mm focal distance for SLR SR-mount was the Auto Tele Rokkor PF 100mm 1:2.0 (still is not tested on lens-works site, it is hard to catch it for a normal price because it is popular among collectors) but in 1968 Minolta dropped that scheme and started the new 100/2.5 (MC-I). The reviewed copy is the second updated version with new shape of focusing ring was in production from 1970 till 1976. It was a period of changes and experiments, and better to keep in mind that lenses from that era can show a different behavior independently of the fact that they can have the same schemes, sizes, etc.

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 100mm 1:2.5 lens exterior

It looks typical for a lens with ‘Curled’ or ‘Hills&Valleys’ hulls – both descriptions are for the shape of the focusing ring. By the popular collector’s classification, every Minolta lens with such a focus ring is MC-II. (but not every MC-II lenses have a steel&glass construction: Minolta MC Rokkor-PF 55mm 1:1.9 has a rubber coating of the focusing ring, but also included into MC-II line)

Accessories

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 100mm 1:2.5 mounted on Minolta SR-T 101 camera

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 100mm 1:2.5 sharpness

Сlose-distance resolution test, minimal distance

Testing methods description

  • Target: 10-15 cm picture, printed on glossy photo paper
  • Distance: 1.7m
  • Camera: Sony A7II (24mpx, full-frame, tripod, remote control). M-mode, ISO fixed, WB fixed, SteadyShot – OFF.
  • The test was repeated for every F-stop on every focus position with manual focus adjustment for each shot. That is to avoid the effect of field curvature.
  • RAW processing: Capture One, default settings. All quality settings – 100%. Crops – 300×200 px

Original target image (printed in horizontal orientation on 10cm X 15cm glossy photo paper)

Scene preview

Test results

Long-distance resolution test

Testing methods description

  • Target: cityscape
  • Distance: > 200 meters to center focus point
  • Camera: Sony A7II (24mpx, full-frame, tripod, remote control). M-mode, ISO fixed, WB fixed, SteadyShot – OFF. The focus point is on the center only.
  • RAW processing: Capture One, default settings. All quality settings – 100%. Crops – 300×200 px

Scene preview

Test results

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 100mm 1:2.5 aberrations

Vignetting

Geometric distortion

Coma aberrations

Chromatic aberrations

Long-distance bokeh

Test#1

Test conditions: the lens was focused on 1.2m, buildings are on “infinity”-distance

Test#2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2.5m

Light bubbles bokeh

Test #1

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 1.2m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Test #2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2.5m

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 100mm 1:2.5 final conclusion

After all the tests: this Rokkor isn’t a killer in resolution terms if wide opened, it is able to show total sharpness over the frame at F8 at least. This is a very good result for optics from that era and makes the lens interesting for modern photographers: well balanced – great for portraits and ready for landscapes, street or something like this. All checked aberrations are quite typical for telephoto lenses – it has noticeable chromatic, vignetting is presented too, but nothing special, and on the other hand – little coma and good geometry.

Traditionally for ‘curly’ designed lenses, this MC Rokkors MC 100/2.5 is quite heavy but well built, it is very appropriate for today’s “steel&glass nostalgia” style. The lens may be easy reassembled for maintenance/CLA and has a chance to save the same condition during the next thousand years (‘Master, save us from elements separation…’).

As a result, we can see the fast lens with a combination of popular focal distance, enough good sharpness, nice rendering, and solid feeling in the hands. Sum of all of these traits means that it is a popular aim for photographers and auctions listings confirm it too, but I can’t say that lens is overpriced (instead of younger MD-III incarnation – the price of which is crazy growing last a few months). So, after all, finally, yes – Rokkor MC 100mm F2.5 can be recommended without doubts for any styles of photography – it is absolutely ready for creating masterpieces in good hands.


1 Comment

Minolta SR 100mm lenses comparison - Lens Works · 2020-08-05 at 14:08

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